The WIAA state tournament qualifying Kaukauna Ghosts softball team. Photo courtesy Paul Stumpf at

GREEN BAY — The Kaukauna Galloping Ghosts softball state tournament run continues after a 3-2 comeback win over Wilmot Union High School in a WIAA Division 1 semifinal game.

The Ghosts play next at UW-Green Bay today at 7 p.m. against the winner of the Burlington-Cedarburg quarterfinal.

The Ghosts jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but quickly went down 2-1 when Wilmot scored a pair in the second.

It wasn’t until a big fifth inning that Kaukauna used its get on, get over and get in strategy to score two and retake the lead. That’s all the Ghosts needed, holding on for a 3-2 win.

Kaukauna pitcher Skyler Calmes pitched a complete game, recording 11 strikeouts. Ava VanAsten had two hits with 2 runs batted in.

Calmes opened the game with three strike outs. Kally Meredith then opened scoring on an infield base hit by VanAsten putting the Ghosts up 1-0.

Wilmot took the lead in the bottom of the second on a double by Kimmy Zender. The two-run RBI put Wilmot up 2-1 after two.

In the top of the third, Wilmot had runners on first and second with two outs when catcher Anna LaCount fired a rocket to Taryn Christopher who caught Annika Wenzel leaning.

Christopher then led off the bottom of the third with a stand-up double. Wilmot pitcher Anna Wischnowki walked VanAsten. But Wilmot was able to retire the side stranding two.

Kaukauna retired the side to open the fourth, then a perfectly executed Paige Miller bunt got the offense going for the Ghosts. Miller then advanced to second on a passed ball. From there, the offense sputtered, ending the inning with a 2-1 lead for Wilmot.

Kaukauna’s Christopher led off the Ghosts’ half of the fifth with a single. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Meredith and scored on a standup triple by VanAsten tying the game.

And the rally was on.

A sacrifice fly by Hinkens scored VanAsten, giving the Ghosts their first lead since the first inning at 3-2.

With no outs outs in the bottom of the sixth, Hinkens caught a flyball at short and fired to first for a double play helping Kaukauna get out of the half of the inning without allowing a scored. But once again, the Ghosts left a runner in scoring position to head into the seventh inning with a slim 3-2 lead.

Calmes clamped down on Wilmot in the seventh, sending the Ghosts to the state semifinal Monday night.



Paid Partnership
Paid Partnership

By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.